Event Focuses on Student Needs

The United Way of East Mississippi's 2nd Annual Stuff the Bus event will take place Thursday in Dumont Plaza. This year, The Liberty Shop and Meridian Kiwanis Club have partnered with United Way.

"The need is great," said Sara Carmichael of United Way.

Stuff the Bus is a way for the community to help those who otherwise may not start the school year off with what they need.

"Any thing we can do to help out a child is what it's about," said Carmichael. "It's scary enough starting school, a new subject, a new classroom; let's at least give them the tools they need to start off the year right."

The Liberty Shop is partnering for Stuff the Bus for the first time.

"There's so many children that don't get to wear something new to school," said Robbie Hales, co-owner of The Liberty Shop. "Sometimes it's really old."

Many people think of school uniforms to donate, but United Way officials say the need much more than that.

"We're looking for anything and everything," Carmichael said. "School supplies are always a primary need. Crayons, pencils, paper, anything somebody can pick up an extra box of as they're checking out, that would be great to donate for kids who don't have supplies to start school with."

The Liberty Shop will be running a special on Thursday.

"For every 3 packages (school uniforms) that people come in and buy for Stuff the Bus, we're going to give a package. And we've already had people come in and start buying packages," Hales said. "You can buy individual pieces too, but we're just glad we are able to join in the with The United Way and Kiwanis; it's a great thing."

The bus will be at Dumont Plaza in downtown Meridian from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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